Blooming Plants for a Shady Balcony

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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Blooming Plants for a Shady Balcony
Bleeding heart makes an attractive, shade-blooming container plant. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

While most flowering garden plants require plenty of direct sunlight to facilitate photosynthesis and bloom prolifically, there are actually quite a few plants that thrive in shady, lowlight conditions. Many of these plants also perform well in containers, making them excellent choices for a container garden on a shady balcony. If you're looking for flowering plants to add a little colour to your lowlight balcony, look no further than these gorgeous specimens.

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Coral Bells

Heuchera is a botanical genus containing approximately 50 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants that are known by the common name coral bells. These attractive perennials feature palmately lobed leaves and spikes of delicate, bell-shaped blossoms that bloom from June through August. Coral bells make excellent containersplants and will bloom in as little as two hours of direct sunlight per day when watered and fertilised regularly. For best results, water coral bells as often as required to keep the growing medium moist; fertilise monthly with a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser in the spring and summer. Cut spent flower spikes from the plant with sharpened and sterilised pruning shears to prolong its blooming season.


There are as many as 1,000 species of annual and perennial flowering plants in the Impatiens family. These gorgeous little plants are prized for their glossy green leaves and 1-inch blossoms in shades of red, lavender, orange, pink and violet from late spring through fall. Container-grown impatiens thrive in locations that receive as few as three hours of direct sunlight per day, providing that they have access to plenty of indirect or filtered sun. Maintain a moist growing medium for your impatiens and fertilise them once a month, spring through summer. Clip spent blossoms from the plant to encourage another round of blooms.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding heart, known botanically as Dicentra spectabilis or Lamprocapnos spectabilis, is a shade-loving rhizomatous perennial plant that is cultivated for its graceful, fernlike foliage and tiny pink, white, purple or red heart-shaped flowers that cover the plant from spring through early summer. With weekly spring and summer irrigation, you may even be able to get your bleeding heart to bloom well into the summer. Bleeding heart survives in full shade, but will produce more of its characteristic heart-shaped blossoms when it has access to at least two to three hours of indirect sunlight per day. It can also benefit from a single application of a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser in the early spring.


Trillium is a botanical family that consists of as many as 50 different species of perennial woodland wildflowers that are known for their textured green leaves and unique, three-petaled, red, pink, white, yellow or maroon flowers that bloom in April and May. Trillium performs well in containers and blooms in locations that receive little to no direct sunlight. They appreciate a moist growing medium and half-strength applications of a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser every other month while the plant is actively growing.

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